Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson has been shut out of the presidential debate Wednesday night in Denver, but he hasn't been shut down from offering his views on the issues facing the country. Johnson says he will provide live, online commentary in an effort to keep his name before the public via Twitter and other "new media."
Johnson filed an antitrust suit last week alleging that the commission organizing the presidential debates and the major parties had conspired to prevent his participation. The suit hasn't been officially resolved, and only President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are being allowed to participate Wednesday night.
Johnson backers hope that he will be included in the last two presidential debates, in New York and Florida later this month, but prospects for that happening appear to be remote at best.
Johnson, the former two-term governor of New Mexico, sought the Republican presidential nomination earlier this year but dropped out and ran as a libertarian after his GOP campaign went nowhere.
He advocates very deep cuts in federal spending, a rollback of regulations, and a pullback of U.S. troops from around the world, including those stationed in Afghanistan.
He has been touring college campuses in an attempt to create a surge of support from young people. Johnson hopes to tap into the youth vote and other constituencies that backed Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, a libertarian who ran unsuccessfully for the GOP presidential nomination.
In a recent interview, Johnson told me that if he does well in the November election, he will probably run as a libertarian again in 2016.
Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes a daily blog, "Ken Walsh's Washington," for usnews.com, and is the author of "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He can be reached at email@example.com and on Facebook and Twitter.